How Chatbots Are Changing the Ways eCommerce Businesses Operate
According to the information provided by Statista, the eCommerce revenue in China is expected to reach 1.086,1 billion dollars by 2023. We are talking about a huge number of people buying loads of things online. When the base of customers is so extensive, their voice has to be heard.
It’s clear that China still hasn’t reached the high point in eCommerce. The industry is growing bigger and bigger by the day. So this makes us think: where are things going? The shoppers are demanding more effective and more approachable customer service. We’re done with sellers failing to respond to our messages.
This is not the future we’re hoping for:
Email and message boxes on websites are still very important aspect of customer service. The users of a certain website need and should approach the team that way. But they also want instant answers, so the chat is a much better option.
Why online shoppers need chatbots in eCommerce
Let’s explain this through an example.
A student wants to order a paper online, so they choose Assignment Geek. They need this content in a matter of hours, so they want to make sure the team can handle such an order. As soon as they land at the website, the chatbot becomes active.
The customer gets an instant sense of trust. They start chatting, and they get immediate answers. Chatbots are capable to answer basic questions about prices, delivery times, and product features. Regardless of the type of online business we’re talking about, the chatbot is always a nice addition.
If this same student checks out BestTermPaper.org, they might bounce off the website just because it doesn’t support a live chat feature.
How chatbots work
The technology behind chatbots in eCommerce is called artificial intelligence. It has an ability to imitate human information processing and engage in conversations. That’s possible through the Natural Language Processing (NLP) method. The program has an ability to understand what you ask, and they it delivers a logical answer.
Chatbots are not new. The first natural language processing computer program was named ELIZA, and it was created from 1964 to 1966. Since then, the technology made huge progress. Today, we’re able to use it in eCommerce and make our stores more responsive.
If you’re thinking that a bot cannot respond like a human, you were right. Of course that natural conversation between humans is impossible to replace. The chatbot, however, has an ability to deliver personalized answers and solve customer issues in a much faster way.
How do chatbots compare to live chat with customer support agents?
Starbucks is a great example of chatbots put to action. The app has a built-in Starbucks Barista bot feature, which texts the users when their order is ready for being picked up. That’s something the customer needs, and it’s more effectively delivered by a bot. Can you imagine Starbucks hiring customer service representatives to inform every customer about their order being ready? No. Developing software is a much better solution, don’t you think?
Let’s see a different example: EssayWritingLab.co.uk is a website that doesn’t rely on chatbots. It has real customer support representatives attending the users. That’s a very effective strategy, since we’re talking about an essay writing agency. The students may have particular questions about their orders. If, for example, someone is requiring revisions about their paper, the representative will check the order’s history and they will immediately know how to solve the issue. Chatbots in eCommerce are not that advanced.
But at the beginning of the communication, when the users need general answers, chatbots are more effective than agents. If the customer asks about the price, the bot will deliver an immediate answer. If an agent attends the chat, the customer would have to wait in line to get their answer.
A chatbot that refers the customers to live support when they have complex order issues may be the best option for your online business.
How are chatbots changing eCommerce, exactly?
If you already own an online business, how can the chatbot make it more effective?
- You can look at the chatbot as a new employee. Of course you need to invest in the technology, but it will cost you less than an actual employee. However, it will cover the same responsibilities as a member of the customer support team. The chatbot will help the customers to connect with the stores, find the products they need, and get answers to their questions.
- You can train and personalize the bot. You can make it formal, funny, or even sarcastic. The chatbot will practically express the voice of your brand. If you’re trying to develop a particular image, you can shape the bot to reflect it.
- A chatbot can make the checkout process much easier. When the user finds something cool at your website, the bot can highlight the price, offer customized options, answer questions about sizing, and lead them to the order form.
- When you combine your email marketing campaign with an effective chatbot, you’ll boost the selling potential of your business. First, you’ll focus on building an email list and sending highly personalized messages.
However, you can also offer an option to send updates via Facebook Messenger. Some people prefer chat over email. They will receive the same information as your email subscribers, but they will be getting it through the chatbot.
The point of these messages is to get people at your website. That’s when you can unlock the real power of the chatbot. A popup can activate the users and bring their attention to a particular product.
Chatbots act like personal assistants for the customers. They work on the base of pre-registered answers, which you’ll develop through audience analysis. In close future, chatbots will be able to understand the emotional vibe fo the conversation, so they will respond with jokes, seriousness, or other appropriate behavior. In future, they are only getting more effective.
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About the author
Cathy Baylis is a freelance writer specializing in personal growth, career development, leadership, and education. She loves sharing her interests with readers, and she has something to say, for sure. Writing is not only her hobby but profession at the same time. You can follow her on Twitter @cathy_baylis